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Encyclopedia > Reflexology
This is an example of a reflexology chart, correlating areas of the feet with organs in the "zones" of the body. (Larger version with colour key)
This is an example of a reflexology chart, correlating areas of the feet with organs in the "zones" of the body. (Larger version with colour key)

Reflexology, or zone therapy, is the practice of massaging, squeezing, or pushing on parts of the feet, or sometimes hands and ears, supposedly to encourage a beneficial effect on some other parts of the body or to try to improve general health. A smaller version of Reflexology foot chart 1 A larger version of the Reflexology chart with colour key File links The following pages link to this file: Reflexology Categories: GFDL images ... A smaller version of Reflexology foot chart 1 A larger version of the Reflexology chart with colour key File links The following pages link to this file: Reflexology Categories: GFDL images ... In zone therapy, a reflexology chart shows the reflex zones found on the soles of the feet. ... For other uses, see Foot (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Hand (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Ear (disambiguation). ...


Reflexology practitioners do not agree on how their practice might work. The one unifying theme is the claim that areas on the foot correspond to areas of the body, and that manipulating these can improve health.[citation needed] Some practitioners[attribution needed] believe these zones reflect energy (Qi), and that blockages of energy in the body are reflected through "grit" or "lumps" on the foot. For other uses, see Qi (disambiguation). ...


Reflexology has no basis in science, and there are concerns[attribution needed] over the efficacy of this treatment, and about the safety of using such a therapy instead of conventional medicine.

Contents

Claimed mechanisms of operation

Some reflexologists claim they can break up patterns of stress in other parts of the body through the nerves in the feet by applying “technique”. This is not supported by the scientific understanding of the nervous system.[1] Other reflexologists[attribution needed] claim that the body contains an energy field, invisible life force, or Qi. While there is no scientific evidence for these vitalist forces and this contradicts the well-tested germ theory of disease that forms the basis for most modern medicine, reflexologists claim that when this “life force” is blocked or imbalanced at a point in the body, illness in the organs of that area may result.[2] Some other proposed explanations include the release of endorphins (natural pain killers in the body, stimulation of nerve circuits in the body ("cutaneo-organ reflexes"), promotion of lymphatic flow or the dissolving of uric acid crystals. None of these is supported by any evidence.[2] Vitalism is the doctrine that vital forces are active in living organisms, so that life cannot be explained solely by mechanism. ... For other uses, see Qi (disambiguation). ... The germ theory of disease, also called the pathogenic theory of medicine, is a theory that proposes that microorganisms are the cause of many diseases. ...


History

Reflexology was introduced into the United States in 1913 by William H. Fitzgerald, M.D. (1872-1942), an ear, nose, and throat specialist, and accompanied by Dr. Edwin Bowers. He claimed that applying pressure had an anesthetic effect on another area.[3] Otolaryngology is the branch of medicine that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of ear, nose, throat, and head & neck disorders. ... Anesthesia (AE), also anaesthesia (BE), is the process of blocking the perception of pain and other sensations. ...


Reflexology was further developed by Eunice D. Ingham (1899-1974), a nurse and physiotherapist, in the 1930s and 1940s.[4] Ingham claimed that the feet and hands were especially sensitive, and then mapped the entire body into "reflexes" on the feet. It was at this time that "zone therapy" was renamed reflexology, and the number of conditions it was claimed to treat increased. Physical therapy can help restore lost functionality in many people. ...


Modern reflexologists in the United States and the United Kingdom often learn Ingham's method first, although there are other more recently developed methods.[2]


Criticism

Potential dangers

Reflexology has the potential to be harmful indirectly if:

  • The reflexologist tries to diagnose an illness
  • The reflexologist relies upon the feet to tell the patient that they don't have an illness, when they do
  • If reflexology is used instead of, or delays an effective therapy.[5]

Reflexology as a pseudoscience

There is no evidence for the existence of life energy or Qi in the body. Furthermore, there is no scientific evidence for "crystalline structures" or "pathways" in the body that reflexology claims to access.[6] This suggests that the practice is a pseudoscience. A typical 18th century phrenology chart. ...


Reflexology charts

A reflexology chart shows the claimed "reflex zones" found on the soles of the feet. Similar maps exist for the postition of the reflexes on the hands. Look up Sole in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


In this chart, the color codes represent the following organs or parts of the body:

       Brain        Stomach
       Sinuses        Spleen
       Voice        Liver
       Pituitary gland        Gall Bladder
       Neck and Throat        Adrenal Gland
       Eyes        Pancreas
       Ears        Kidney
       Armpit        Ureter
       Shoulder and Arm        Bladder
       Lung and Breast        Colon
       Heart        Small Intestine
       Thyroid and Bronchial        Coccyx
       Solar Plexus        Sciatic Nerve
       Diaphragm        Peyer's Patches
       Appendix  

Image File history File links Size of this preview: 476 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (554 × 697 pixel, file size: 205 KB, MIME type: image/png)This shows the reflex zones found on the sole of the feet. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 476 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (554 × 697 pixel, file size: 205 KB, MIME type: image/png)This shows the reflex zones found on the sole of the feet. ... For other uses, see Brain (disambiguation). ... In anatomy, the stomach is a bean-shaped hollow muscular organ of the gastrointestinal tract involved in the second phase of digestion, following mastication. ... Sinus may refer to: In anatomy, where a sinus is a sac or cavity in any organ or tissue: Paranasal sinus, an air cavity in the cranial bones, especially those near the nose Sinus (anatomy), description of the general term Anal sinuses, the furrows which separate the columns in the... The spleen is an organ located in the abdomen, where it functions in the destruction of old red blood cells and holding a reservoir of blood. ... The human voice consists of sound made by a human using the vocal folds for talking, singing, laughing, crying and screaming. ... For the bird, see Liver bird. ... The pituitary gland, or hypophysis, is an endocrine gland about the size of a pea that sits in a small, bony cavity (sella turcica) covered by a dural fold (sellar diaphragm) at the base of the brain. ... The gallbladder (or cholecyst) is a pear-shaped organ that stores bile (or gall) until the body needs it for digestion. ... A human neck. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... In mammals, the adrenal glands (also known as suprarenal glands) are the triangle-shaped endocrine glands that sit on top of the kidneys; their name indicates that position (ad-, near or at + -renes, kidneys). They are chiefly responsible for regulating the stress response through the synthesis of corticosteroids and catecholamines... This article refers to the sight organ. ... The pancreas is a gland organ in the digestive and endocrine systems of vertebrates[2]. It is both exocrine (secreting pancreatic juice containing digestive enzymes) and endocrine (producing several important hormones, including insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin). ... For an alternative meaning, see ear (botany). ... The kidneys are organs that filter wastes (such as urea) from the blood and excrete them, along with water, as urine. ... The armpit (or axilla) is the area on the human body directly under the joint where the arm connects to the shoulder. ... Transverse section of ureter. ... This article is about the body part. ... Look up ARM in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In anatomy, the urinary bladder is a hollow, muscular, and distensible (or elastic) organ that sits on the pelvic floor in mammals. ... Human respiratory system The lungs flank the heart and great vessels in the chest cavity. ... For other uses, see Breast (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Large intestine. ... The heart and lungs, from an older edition of Grays Anatomy. ... In biology the small intestine is the part of the gastrointestinal tract (gut) between the stomach and the large intestine and includes the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. ... The bronchioles are the first airway branches that no longer contain cartilage. ... The coccyx is formed of up to five vertebrae. ... The solar plexus, also known as the celiac plexus, plexus cœliacus or plexus solaris, is an autonomous cluster of nerve cells (see Plexus) in the human body behind the stomach and below the diaphragm near the celiac artery in the abdominal cavity. ... The sciatic nerve (also known as the ischiatic nerve) is a large nerve that runs down the lower limb. ... In the anatomy of mammals, the diaphragm is a shelf of muscle extending across the bottom of the ribcage. ... In human anatomy, the vermiform appendix (or appendix, pl. ...

Reflexology in the Media

An episode of Penn & Teller: Bullshit! (1-02 Alternative Medicine) focused on reflexology. The original airing was February 7, 2003. This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... is the 38th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Notes

  1. ^ What is Reflexology?. Accessed November 26, 2006
  2. ^ a b c Natural Standard. Harvard Medical School (July 7, 2005). Retrieved on January 27, 2007.
  3. ^ Norman, Laura; Thomas Cowan (1989). The Reflexology Handbook, A Complete Guide. Piatkus, 17. ISBN 0-86188-912-6. 
  4. ^ Benjamin. (1989). Eunice D. Ingham and the development of foot reflexology in the U.S. Massage Therapy Journal, Winter.
  5. ^ Reflexology. National Council Against Health Fraud (1996). Retrieved on January 27, 2007.
  6. ^ Stephen Barrett, Reflexology: A close look, Quackwatch, 25 September 2004, accessed 24 September 2007

is the 188th day of the year (189th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Stephen J. Barrett, M.D. (born 1933), is a retired American psychiatrist and author best known as the founder of the National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF) and the webmaster of Quackwatch. ... Quackwatch Inc. ...

See also

Alternative medicine is defined as any of various systems of healing or treating disease (as chiropractic, homeopathy, or faith healing) not included in the traditional medical curricula taught in the United States and Britain.[1] Complementary medicine is defined as any of the practices (as acupuncture) of alternative medicine accepted... Acupressure (a portmanteau of acupuncture and pressure) is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) technique based on the same ideas as acupuncture. ... Acupuncture chart from Hua Shou (fl. ... Auriculotherapy - not to be confused with auricular therapy using needles (ear acupuncture) - is a form of alternative medicine based on the idea that the ear is a microsystem, meaning that the entire body is represented on the auricle (or auricula, or pinna - the outer portion of the ear) in a... The Metamorphic Technique is a gentle form of foot, hand and head massage that can be carried out by anyone with a brief training in the technique. ...

External links

Professional bodies and organisations

Critical


  Results from FactBites:
 
Reflexology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1405 words)
Reflexology, or zone therapy, is the practice of stimulating points on the feet and hands, in the belief it will have a beneficial effect on some other parts of the body, or will improve general health.
In reflexology, it is believed that there is a "vital energy" that is circulating between organs of the human body, that penetrates into every living cell.
Reflexology is a widespread practice in Asia, where foot reflexology (also known as foot massage) is quite popular.
Reflexology: Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine (2250 words)
Reflexology is a therapeutic method of relieving pain by stimulating predefined pressure points on the feet and hands.
Frequent brief sessions of reflexology therapy are also recommended as an alternative to drug therapy for controlling the muscle pain associated with fibromyalgia and for relieving difficult breathing caused by tightness in the muscles of the patient's neck and throat.
Such professional reflexology interests as the RAA documented in detail the disparities between reflexology and massage, citing the purpose of reflexology, which is to stimulate internal body functions (glands and organs) as opposed to the topical muscular and joint relief associated with massage.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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